Saturday, July 23, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
Heros AND Traitors
CIA Agents Indicted?
UPDATE: (7/22/05 9:00 PM CDT) Note: original post and update below this update.|
From the Chicago Tribune (free reg. required):
Ya' know, I'm really glad that these guys are on our side!
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Paraphrasing here: An Italian judge has order 13 CIA officers arrested in connection with seizing Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, on the streets of Milan on Feb. 17, 2003, and sending him to Egypt. This is a strange story. Apparently the official documents did not name the suspects as CIA agents, but reporters were told by a secondary source that they were CIA. Actually, the suspects were not named at all nor was their nationality given.
So, does this mean that ANY person working for the CIA is at risk of arrest? If not Italian nationals, would they then be subject to ICC prosecution? While I'm asking, is there ANYONE who truly beleives that the United States should submit our citizens to the vagaries of extranational public opinion and political whim?
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Update: (06/25/05 12:05 AM CDT) This gets curiouser and curiouser. The New York Times is now reporting this story. And Reuters is also (thanks to Free Republic for this link). Check out the lead paragraph from each (emphasis mine):
MILAN, June 24 - An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 operatives of the Central Intelligence Agency accused of kidnapping an Egyptian cleric on a Milan street two years ago and sending him to a prison in Egypt for questioning, Italian prosecutors and investigators said today.Reuters:
MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - An Italian judge has ordered the arrest of 13 people linked to the CIA for "kidnapping" an Egyptian terrorism suspect in Milan and flying him to Egypt where he said he was tortured, judicial sources said on Friday.Reuters then goes into a lenghty diatribe about torture. To their credit, the NY Times does not. Another discrepancy between the stories concerns the identy of the people indicted. Reuters reports: "Another judicial source said: 'We know some of the identities of these (suspects) with certainty, but with others we are not sure of their true identity.'" The Times reports that (boldface mine):
Investigators said the court documents, which remain under seal, identify the 13 operatives by their real names as well as their cover names. In the warrants, Judge Nobili said that all 13 suspects were linked to the C.I.A. and that several served as diplomats at the United States Consulate in Milan, investigators said.Now I wonder just how it came about that this information was made available to a foreign government, even a putative ally? Maybe the Intelligence Oversight Committee should investigate. On second thought, maybe that wouldn't be such a good idea after all.
On a related note, Tigerhawk has a nice post on Paul Krugman's column today. On the comments section, commenter Jim - PRS says:
To which Tigerhawk replies:
One of my little rules is that when a person's actions or statements force you to conclude that they are either nefarious or stupid, the most probable explanation is that they are stupid. I like to call this theorem "TigerHawk's Razor."Then commenter Sluggo throws this out:
Sluggo's Corollary states that, absent drool on the chin, they are most likely nefariously pretending to be stupid.Hmmm, I don't think frothing at the mouth equates with drool on the chin. It's one thing to stand on the Senate floor and make disparaging remarks about our troops, or to opine in the NY Times that we are in a quagmire in Iraq and destined to lose, and to reveal cold, hard facts to a foreign agency. In a time of war! I do beleive that there is a word for that. And a proscribed punishment. That, I think, would qualify as nefarious, and stupid, and even (read Krugman) unpatriotic.
Pure speculation on my part, you understand. I know nothing.
Tagged as United States, Italy, Milan, International Criminal Court, ICC, CIA, International Relations , New York Times, NY Times, Reuters, Egypt, Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, Abu Omar
A Kerryesque Suggestion?
From the politico aspiring to become Mexico's next El Presidente, Jorge Castaneda, comes this Kerryesque suggestion (foreign veto, or Global Test) to the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico:|
I've quoted Sr. Castaneda before when posting about illegal immigration:
Although it would be much easier and more manageable to control the border with the cooperation of the Mexican authorities, it is still doable without. And contrary to Sr. Castanedas assessment, it just may be rocket science: (Apologies for quoting myself!)
(Thanks to RealClearPolitics for the initial link, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations transcript here.)
Tagged as United States, Mexico, Politics, Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Diplomacy, Border, Closed Border, U.S. Senate, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Realtions, Jorge Castaneda
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Hmmm. Several questions here. First, the article relates that the rates measured in all areas had dropped from levels reported in previous surveys.
It seemed to me that the report sounded a lot like bureaucrats attempting to justify their jobs/budgets. Read it, and see what you think.
[...] The report said 54 percent of soldiers rated their units' morale as low or very low. The comparable figure in a year-earlier Army survey was 72 percent. [...]
Now don't get me wrong... I'm firmly in support of monitoring the mental health of our troops, and applying appropriate programs to lessen risks. They are in a very stressful situation, and it would take a total mental disconnect to avoid being affected.
Secondly, the article (and the report) determined that one of the main concerns amongst the troops was the length of deployment, or rather variations of deployment lengths.
That kind of makes it sound like it's all that wimpy Rumsfelds fault. Might be, but I'd wager that many other factors are also involved.
What the article does not do is explain what, if any, effect the constant negative reporting on the home front of the progress of the Iraqi Campaign has on the deployed troops. They are content to let the impression stand that our boys and girls are doing poorly over there.
And they failed to make any assessment or comment about the age-old military tradition of griping. Since the surveys were anonymous, I'd say that normal griping probably played a role in the answers received.
Tagged as United States, Military, Iraq, National Guard
This Is Really Cheesy!
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
He's Dead, Jim
Sadly, Scottie has died. He was 85.|
(picture credit: BBC Star Trek Gallery)
I will always best remember his "I don't think she can take much more, Captain!" Well, make that a paraphrase, since I can't find a source, yet.
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- James Doohan, the burly chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise in the original "Star Trek" TV series and motion pictures who responded to the apocryphal command "Beam me up, Scotty," died early Wednesday.
(Picture Credit: CNN Article)
Tagged as Entertainment, Obituary, Star Trek, Scottie, James Doohan
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Lots of interesting provisions here. Read the whole thing, please.
WASHINGTON-U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Chairman of the Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommittee, and U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security subcommittee, introduced comprehensive border security and immigration reform legislation on Tuesday.
Tagged as United States, Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration Reform, Guest Worker, Visa, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Jon Kyl
Monday, July 18, 2005
More on Immigration and Assimilation
"Immigrant Births in America Rising"|
From Cara Anna, AP writer, via San Antonio Express-News(reg. required).
With the ever-increasing population of immigrants in the United States, legal and not, I hope it didn't take rocket science to figure this out. However, the amount of births is not the point of this post. Rather, the article explains and explores the problems presented with health care providers dealing with language barriers during the emotionally charged event of childbirth.
The article states that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that interpreters be provided to non-English speaking patients. Since I could not find this requirement in the Act, I am assuming that the provision of interpreters has resulted from an after-Act interpretation of the Act by the court system. Regardless, this requirement serves to increase the cost of health care services to everyone.
This is an expense that should not be placed on our health care systems. Interpreters should be provided on a voluntary basis for those who have not yet obtained a satisfactory knowledge of English
[...] A survey of New Jersey's hospitals shows that in a largely urban state where 11 percent of residents have limited English, just 3 percent of hospitals have a full-time interpreter. Eighty percent of hospitals offer no staff training on working with interpreters, and 31 percent have no multilingual signs.
The United States is an English-speaking country. All immigrants should be encouraged, pressured, cajoled into learning the language of their adopted country. Assimilation is necessary for the health of this country.
Tagged as United States, Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Health Care, Childbirth, Civil Rights Act of 1964,
Juche? I got yer juche!
Sunday, July 17, 2005
I, and many others, have complained about the ease with which illegals can and do cross our borders, posing an extreme and unwarranted danger to the United States. That danger is ignored, downplayed, or outright ridiculed by a wide spectrum of the American polity. Unfortunately, it may already be too late to implement effective checks and controls on the borders.|
How long does it take to construct physical barriers to prevent uncontrolled crossing? How long to recruit, train and deploy adequate personnel? Maybe too long, when balanced against possible terrorist threats that may already be in advanced planning, or execution, stages.
Case in point, from Alfredo Corchado and Jason Trahan of the Dallas Morning News (via Kansas City Star - free reg. required):
[...] The plot, according to uncorroborated information provided by an FBI informant, involves a man, described as an Arab who goes by the nickname "El Espanol," and Ernesto Zatarin Beliz, also known as El Traca, a reputed Mexican drug trafficker and member of the Zetas, the feared enforcers of the notorious Gulf cartel.Read the whole thing, much more information there.
"Yeah, yeah, so what?" the apologists whine. Only one guy, and we already have tabs on him. How much of a threat can he pose?
One? Oh, really?
The Arab TV news network criticized by the new Iraqi government and others for its anti-American bias and willingness to carry the messages of terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida, is headed for the U.S.-Mexico border to document how easy it is to enter America illegally. [...]Item::
Of the 800,000 illegal aliens caught trying to sneak across the U.S.-Mexico border since October, more than 10 percent are from countries other than Mexico, posing serious national security issues.
WASHINGTON – The Mexican army is escorting those attempting to cross over the U.S. border illegally – including known drug-runners – to areas not patrolled by the Minuteman Project near Naco, Ariz., say Border Patrol sources and other officials including a U.S. congressman.
WASHINGTON – Islam is on the move in Mexico and throughout Latin America, making dramatic gains in converting the native population, increasing immigration, establishing businesses and charities and attracting attention from U.S. government officials who have asked their neighbors to the south to keep an eye on foreign Muslim groups.
Adding information to previous reports about terrorists crossing the southern border, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a congressional panel today that illegal aliens from countries with ties to al-Qaida have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico using false identities.
While there likely aren't any posters depicting exotic destinations on the wall, an al-Qaida travel agency operates in Latin America to help terrorists enter the U.S., the 9-11 commission reports.
With Islamic "charities" under increasing international pressure and scrutiny to cut ties with terrorists, al-Qaida and other allied organizations are expanding operations in Latin America, establishing both legitimate and criminal enterprises to fund future operations, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. [...]
Some of these items are slightly dated, others very recent, but all point to one thing... our enemies are not resting, not waiting for favorable conditions, not waiting on others to act first. They have demonstrated the capability and willingness to plan for long periods before attacking. Do we have any reason to think that they have stopped? Nope.
International law-enforcement authorities combating terrorism have growing concerns about a major influx into the Latin American nation of Paraguay of Arabic-speaking visitors carrying European passports.
So we're not doing anything. Wait, what the hell is this???
That dog won't hunt!
UPDATE:: From Miguel Gonzales at the Desert Dispatch:
Bankers and employers actively catering to illegals are certainly not helping the situation!
VICTORVILLE -- National and local banks have found in their quest to attract more customers that catering to illegal immigrants can significantly increase traffic and business.
Thanks to Free Republic for original pointer.
Tagged as United States, Mexico, Border, Closed Borders, Porous Border, Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Terrorist, Terrorism, Global War on Terror, GWoT, War for Survival, Islamofascist, Islam, Muslim, FBI, Drugs, Drug Cartel, South America, Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, al Qaeda